The common cold is the result of a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, which includes the head, chest, nose and throat. Typical common colds usually last from around 4-6 days. The infection and the resulting symptoms generally degrade overtime with proper care. Technically there is no "cure" for the common cold, but you can minimize your discomfort and shorten its duration. Most people don't want to run to the doctor every time they get a cold, but getting full care at home isn't always easy.

1 - Drink lots of fluids. Your body's natural reaction to viral infections is to flush it out of your system. Drinking lots of fluids, more specifically water and juice, provides the means for the virus to travel out of your system. So simply the more fluids you intake the faster and easier it is for your body to reject the virus. Fluids will also help relieve coughing and can help reduce fever. Also some OTC medicines can dehydrate you.

2 - Eat well balanced meals. Your body draws essential nutrients and energy necessary in fully fighting the infection. Chicken soup is an old favorite, due to a couple factors. The hot broth helps sooth your throat and ease a queasy stomach. And the chicken contains proteins and other helpful nutrients you need.

3- Rest well and stay warm. Stay well dressed and keep blankets nearby. A lot of times you will wake up in a sweat and that is a good thing, as it helps remove toxins from your body. Increase your hours of sleep because when you sleep, your body is able to fight infections more effectively. So going to bed an hour or two earlier will help your body recover more quickly.

4 - Humidifiers or standing in a hot shower can help loosen mucus, relieve tightness, and go a long way towards helping you feel a little better.

5- Take OTC medications to target the worst symptoms. If congestion and mucus is bothering you, Mucinex or a similar product is an extremely effective expectorant and can clear up your chest and reduce coughing. For sore throats, throat sprays such as Chloresceptic, throat lozenges, and drinking plenty of fluids helps relieve discomfort. Plain old Tylenol or a similar pain killer with help with body aches and pains. Theraflu and NyQuil are great for multi-symptom relief, but can leave you feeling drowsy or with "medicine head", so make sure you can rest while you take them.

If symptoms don't start clearing up in a few days, or they become worse, perhaps the cold may have caused another infection such as pneumonia or perhaps it wasn't a cold to start with, and you should call your doctor.

If you are unsure if it is the common cold or not, you should consult with your doctor.

Author's Bio: 

John Chilton is co-founder of Platypus PC Inc.